http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2011/sep/06/new-rules-benefit-air-travelers/ New rules recently went into effect for air travelers, and that's good news for passengers. These Department of Transportation rules cover tarmac waits, bumping, lost luggage and more. We already had a three-hour rule covering tarmac delays for domestic travel, but we now have protection on international flights that are delayed on U.S. airport tarmacs. International flights can't sit on the tarmac for more than four hours without allowing passengers to deplane, or the airline will be fined $27,500 per passenger. The airlines have incentive to follow this rule because of the steep fines. For example, a Boeing 777 jet (common on international routes) holds 300 passengers, so the fine would be more than $8 million for a full plane, and the new Airbus double-decker A380 can hold 555 passengers, which could cost more than $15 million if delayed. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule for safety, security or reasons related to air-traffic control. Unfortunately, the passengers who sit through a lengthy tarmac delay won't benefit. The government will pocket that $27,500 per passenger.